Justice delayed is justice denied. While the jury box remains vacant, witnesses disappear and evidence decays. As a prosecutor of nearly ten years, Elizabeth remembers the days of Misdemeanor courts going to trial twice a week, ensuring defendants were afforded their Constitutional rights. Hurricane Harvey and Covid-19 have been blamed for the tremendous backlog of cases, but it is time for the excuses to stop.
In 2020, Harris County Criminal Court #5 held only two trials. The incumbent Judge presided over a mere three trials, a tie for the second lowest number of trials held by a Misdemeanor Judge in Harris County, in 2021. In the last six months, Harris County Court #5 has had the lowest clearance rate of all Misdemeanor courts in Harris County (statistics from 3/3/2022). When courts are not in trial, defendants have no motivation to do anything but remain on bond. The wheels of justice must start again.
Elizabeth is committed to considering ALL factors in setting bonds, including the future safety of a victim of the alleged offense and the community. All too often, repeat offenders are granted personal recognizance bonds, nothing more than the defendant's word to appear, by Harris County Magistrates. As a prosecutor, Elizabeth understands the dangers of a one-size-fits-all approach to bond and has successfully argued for sufficient bail and denial of bail in the appropriate case.